Aircraft are some of the safest options for both travel and transportation. Part of this is due the incredibly high standards in the construction of each vehicle. An airplane, helicopter or other flying vehicle needs to have every part working properly to fly to such heights and keep pilots, passengers and cargo secure. These parts include several types of aircraft fasteners, each crucial to the integrity of the vehicle.
Most aircraft hardware is generally no different than hardware, the biggest difference being the specific purpose in aircraft manufacturing. For instance, a U-bolt is a u-shaped bolt used to bring support to pipes within a system. They are often built with screw heads on each end to effectively attach the pipe against a stable surface. The aircraft industry uses U-bolts to hold together cables and rope, and are even used in specific airplane components, such as a plane’s landing gear.
When aircraft or other vehicles are assembled, there are sometimes small spaces and gaps that must be filled for proper assembly and function. Shims are components designed to fill these gaps, thus providing support, structure and balance to parts or locations that usually face constant movement or wear. In aircraft assembly, these specialized shims fulfill this function to save time and money spent on precision machining these parts together. Some types of aircraft shims include edge-bonded, laminated and surface-bonded laminated.
Machinery has multiple metal moving parts that contact against each other, creating friction. This effect slows down movement and damages the equipment over time. Bearings mitigate friction by using balls or cylinders that roll between machinery parts, preventing direct contact while enabling high-speed motion. Roller bearings are most notably used in airplane engines.
Every part of an aircraft contributes to not only its function, but also the safety of everyone involved with these vehicles. Engineers must understand these parts to assemble strong, safe aircraft.